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May 16 / 17 1971
(+ means you need both    ~ means same material    °° means stereo or binaural    ° means mono)
(SFS = Short False Start | FS = False Start | LFS or BD (Breakdown) = Long False Start | PB (Playback) or Complete = Complete Take)

RCA Studio B - Nashville, Tennessee
Producer: Felton Jarvis
Engineer: Al Pachucki
(6.00pm - 9.00pm / 9.00pm - 12.00am / 1.00am - 4.00am)

Musicians:   Backup Vocals:
Guitar:
James Burton (O Come All Ye Faithful & The First Noel)
Guitar: Chip Young  
Guitar: Charlie Hodge  
Guitar: Joe Esposito  
Drums: Kenneth Buttrey  
Piano: David Briggs  
Bass: Norbert Putnam  
Organ: Glen Spreen  
Harmonica: Charlie McCoy  

I'll Be Home On Christmas Day
APA4 1266
  May 16 1971 (Sun: 6.00pm - 9.00pm)
Take 1 FS
0:50   The Wonderful World Of Christmas (FTD)°°+Christmas Today°°
(Count-In & Extra Dialogue)
Take 2 LFS 2:12   The Wonderful World Of Christmas (FTD)°° (Count-In & Extra Dialogue)
~Christmas Today°° (1:46)
Take 3 Complete 5:16 (Extra Verse) I Sing All Kinds (FTD)°°+The Wonderful World Of Christmas (FTD)°°
(Count-In)+Christmas Today°° (Extra Dialogue)
Take 4 Complete 5:06   The Wonderful World Of Christmas (FTD)°° (4:58)+Christmas Today°°
(Count-in & Extra Dialogue)~Platinum 4°° (3:49)
Take 5 Reh'sal
3:01 "The Lords Prayer"
(WPA5 2571)
The Wonderful World Of Christmas (FTD)°° (Comp.)~Christmas Today°°
~He Touched Me (FTD)°° (2:36)+Essential Elvis Volume 4°° (Edited
- Different Mix)
  +FS 0:21   The Wonderful World Of Christmas (FTD)°°~Christmas Today°°
Take 6 Complete 4:03   The Wonderful World Of Christmas (FTD)°°~Christmas Today°°
Take 7 FS 0:24   Christmas Today°°
Take 8 (M) 3:48 (Undubbed Master) Christmas Today°° (Acetate)
         
Overdub M 3:50 Brass & string overdubs on June 22 Complete Elvis Presley Masters 21 (Sony)°°~Christmas With Elvis
(Franklin Mint Comp. Masters Collection 4)°°~The Wonderful World Of
Christmas (FTD)°°~Christmas Peace (DSD)°°~If Everyday Was Like
Christmas°°~The Wonderful World Of Christmas°°

On A Snowy Christmas Night
APA4 1267
  May 16 / 17 1971 (Sun / Mon)
Take NA (M) 2:47 (Undubbed Master) Christmas Today°° (Acetate)
         
Overdub (M)   Backup vocal overdubs on May 24  
Overdub M 2:50 String overdubs on June 22 Complete Elvis Presley Masters 21 (Sony)°°~Christmas With Elvis
(Franklin Mint Comp. Masters Collection 4)°°~The Wonderful World Of
Christmas (FTD)°°~Christmas Peace (DSD)°°~If Everyday Was Like
Christmas°°~The Wonderful World Of Christmas°°+O Come All Ye
Faithful° (See Note)
         
Duet   2:50 (2008 Re-Recorded backing track
and vocals)
Christmas Duets°° ('Canadian' Pressing - with Renee Martel)

Winter Wonderland
APA4 1268
  May 16 / 17 1971 (Sun / Mon)
Take 1        
Take 2        
Take 3        
Take 4        
Take 5        
Take 6        
Take 7 LFS 2:45   The Wonderful World Of Christmas (FTD)°° (Extra Dialogue)~Christmas
Today°° (2:33)
Take 8 Reh'sal 1:07   The Wonderful World Of Christmas (FTD)°°
Take 9        
Take 10 M 2:19 (Master is without overdubs) Complete Elvis Presley Masters 21 (Sony)°°~Christmas With Elvis
(Franklin Mint Comp. Masters Collection 4)°°~The Wonderful World Of
Christmas (FTD)°°~Christmas Peace (DSD)°°~If Everyday Was Like
Christmas°°+Blue Christmas°°+Christmas Today°° (Different mixes)
         
    2:25 (2008 Re-Recorded backing track
and vocals)
Christmas Duets°° (with The Jordanaires)
Duet   2:24 (2008 Re-Recorded backing track
and vocals)
Christmas Duets°° ('European' Pressing - with Hanna Pakarinen &
The Jordanaires)

Don't Think Twice, It's All Right
APA4 1269
  May 16 / 17 1971 (Sun / Mon)
Take 1 (M) 9:18
(Unedited Jam) Elvis Now (FTD)°°
Edited (M) 8:35 (JPA5 6069) Our Memories Of Elvis Volume 2°°~Our Memories Of Elvis (FTD - 1)°°
Edited (M) 4:00   70's Box 4°°
Edited M 2:45   Complete Elvis Presley Masters 22 (Sony)°°~Loves Lost (Franklin Mint
Complete Masters Collection 12)°°~Elvis Fool (FTD)°°~(20 Bit)°°
         
Extended   14:25   Don't Think Twice (Madison)°°
Extended   9:38   Behind Closed Doors (LP Box)°°

O Come All Ye Faithful
APA4 1270
  May 16 / 17 1971 (Sun / Mon)
Take 1 (M) 2:58 (Undubbed Master) Christmas Today°° (Acetate)
Take 2 Complete 4:28 (MWA5 9085) The Wonderful World Of Christmas (FTD)°° (Count-In)+Memories Of
Christmas°°~O Come All Ye Faithful°° (4:05 - Spliced with Take 1)
         
Overdub (M)   Brass & string overdubs on June 21  
Overdub M 2:48 Organ overdubbed on July 26 Complete Elvis Presley Masters 21 (Sony)°°~Christmas With Elvis
(Franklin Mint Comp. Masters Collection 4)°°~The Wonderful World Of
Christmas (FTD)°°~Christmas Peace (DSD)°°~Comp Single Collection 7°°
~If Everyday Was Like Christmas°°~The Wonderful World Of Christmas°°
+Blue Christmas°° (Different mixes)
         
Duet   2:52 (2008 Re-Recorded backing track
and vocals)
Christmas Duets°° (with Olivia Newton John)
         
Duet   2:50 (2013 Re-Recorded backing track
and vocals)
Home For Christmas°°~CD Single°° (with Susan Boyle)

The First Noel
APA4 1271
  May 16 / 17 1971 (Sun / Mon)
Take NA (M) 2:12 (Undubbed Master) Christmas Today°° (Acetate)
         
Overdub M 2:13 Backup vocal overdubs on May 24 Complete Elvis Presley Masters 21 (Sony)°°~Christmas With Elvis
(Franklin Mint Comp. Masters Collection 4)°°~The Wonderful World Of
Christmas (FTD)°°~Christmas Peace (DSD)°°~If Everyday Was Like
Christmas°°~The Wonderful World Of Christmas°°+Blue Christmas°°
+O Come All Ye Faithful°° (Different mixes)
         
Duet   2:14 (2008 Re-Recorded backing track) Christmas Duets°°

The Wonderful World Of Christmas
APA4 1272
  May 16 / 17 1971 (Sun / Mon)
Take NA (M) 1:59 (Undubbed Master) Christmas Today°° (Acetate)
         
Overdub (M)   Backup vocal overdubs on May 24  
Overdub M 1:59 Brass & string overdubs on June 21 Complete Elvis Presley Masters 21 (Sony)°°~Christmas With Elvis
(Franklin Mint Comp. Masters Collection 4)°°~The Wonderful World Of
Christmas (FTD)°°~Christmas Peace (DSD)°°~If Everyday Was Like
Christmas°°~The Wonderful World Of Christmas°°+Unsurp. Mast. 4-15°°
(Different Mixes)+Tape°° (Vocal Only)+Tape° (No Backing Vocals)

Notes

Tape reel #2 was erased and reused on May 20, and tape reel #4 from this session is missing with no indication of what happened to it.
Reel #2 would have included some takes of On A Snowy Christmas Night and the first six takes of Winter Wonderland.
Reel #4 would have included outtakes of The First Noel and The Wonderful World Of Christmas.
An explanation why tape reel #4 may have been re-used or dumped, could be that Elvis may not have participated in the sessions and only overdubbed his voice. There would be no reason to keep the instrumental outtakes once the masters had been identified.

On 'Today, Tomorrow & Forever' it wrongly lists Take 9 of I'll Be Home On Christmas Day from this session as being released on there, when it is actually Take 9 from June 10.

Elvis sang an extra verse on the first few takes of I'll Be Home On Christmas Day, and then that verse was omitted from Take 4 onwards, because Felton Jarvis said the song was too long. The Master was then cut (Take 8) without that verse being included.

On June 10 Elvis re-recorded I'll Be Home On Christmas Day again in a different tempo, but started off using the same (unused) verse. After take 9 someone decided, again for whatever reason, to leave out that verse, and the (Alternate) master was cut without this verse. The extra verse is as follows:-

"It's been so long since I've seen little John, Michelle, Christine and Karen;
(I) almost forgot all the presents that I bought, a purse for little sister to carry.
(If) I could set aside my pride, I'd just be on my way,
I'd be on that (Catch that) train tomorrow, I'll be home on Christmas Day".

The Lord's Prayer on 'Essential Elvis Volume 4' has the musicians way back in the mix and has dialogue edited in from before Take 6 of A Thing Called Love (May 19), along with a line from You Better Run edited in.

On A Snowy Christmas Night on the bootleg "O Come All Ye Faithful" is probably just the left channel only (centred) of a stereo acetate of the fully overdubbed master. By eliminating the right channel on the same track on 'Christmas Peace' I was able to get the exact same results. This is possible because backing vocals (and occasionally strings) tend to be panned 100% right on the original mixes from these sessions, so you can often eliminate them by cutting out the right channel, with no discernable bleed.

A fake extended version of Don't Think Twice, It's All Right can be found on the old bootleg LP box "Behind Closed Doors" and more recently a longer faked version can be found on the Madison bootleg "Don't Think Twice".

Take 2 of O Come All Ye Faithful was first released in 1982 on 'Memories Of Christmas' at which point it was issued a different serial number (MWA5 9085) to the Master (APA4 1270). This was because it was spliced with Take 1.

A fake 'Vocal Only' version of The Wonderful World Of Christmas has been doing the rounds amongst collectors, but this is just one channel removed from a binaural mix, and then centred. This gives the effect of having no backing singers of musicians present.

In March of 2007, Sony decided to go through all of Elvis' masters. They retransferred everything and remastered all tracks including repairing as many clicks, pops, bad edits and dropouts as they could. They have used these newly mastered recordings on their new releases since 2007 including budget soundtracks, 'Legacy' releases, the 30 disc 'Complete Elvis Presley Masters' collection and the Franklin Mint package.

Thanks to Michael Schemies for pointing out the mistake regarding I'll Be Home On Christmas Day on 'Today, Tomorrow & Forever'.

Thanks to Colin Bryant for pointing out the European pressing of 'Christmas Duets' containing the duet with Hanna Pakarinen from Finland.

Session Logs
 
Recording Information
May 16 1971
May 16 1971
 

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